The LORD’s hand was heavy on the people of Ashdod…(1 Sa 5:6).
As the Phillistines defeated the Israelites in battle they fully believed that their God, Dagon, had brought them victory. They took the ark of God and placed it in Dagon’s temple. However, the next day the priests of Dagon found their false god fallen on his face before the ark of God. They picked him up, put him back in place and the following day, the very same thing happened, but this time, Dagon’s legs and arms had fallen off.
God was sending a message to the Phillistines that there is only one God. Even though the Israelites lost in battle, due to their stubborn hearts that strayed from the Lord. God would still bring redemptive victory for Israel. It would be in His timing and in HIs way. God needs no man or woman to fight for Him to usher in victory. If the Lord can make rocks cry out and give a donkey a mouth to speak with, he can certainly bring victory into our lives without us inserting ourselves into the equation, before He has asked us to.
I’m sure Israel returned home in great defeat. The ark had been taken, it now lay in the hands of their greatest enemy. There’s no doubt in my mind they felt helpless, doubtful and discouraged, but God was working. He remembered the prayers of the righteous. He never delays in what He is doing, He only asks us to join Him on the battle lines of prayer. Had Israel gone before the Lord and inserted themselves back into the battle to bring the ark back I’m certain it would have ended in sudden disaster.
Have you ever inserted yourself into the equation when the wisdom of God never asked you to? Have you ever believed that you needed to do this or that, have this conversation with that person or manipulate things in your favor? Maybe I’m just speaking to myself this morning. There is something to be said about waiting for God to work that requires trust, patience and belief.
God will turn our enemies right on their heads. The enemies of fear, control, anger, dissension, division, discouragement, and destruction will all lay down in reverence to Almighty God if we would wait upon the Lord usher in victory. It could be that some of us have never actually experienced the blessing of God, because we have become self-sufficient in our own right. What deepens our faith is most often what we fear the most and God will take us there. He’ll ask us to sacrifice the things we hold the most dear. When we do this, though, we are not giving up anything, but only gaining much from the hand of God.
The Lord has been speaking this into my life recently, “Heather, there is great gain in giving up and letting go.” I believe, just as God did with Israel that He will redeem, He will bring blessing in His perfect timing for the glory of His name and the growing of my faith.
Jesus, there is not battle that you are unaware of in our lives. You see everything. You are King and master over it all. Sometimes, I try to use common sense and my own ability to fix a situation or turn it in my favor. However, this is not what you ask of me. Today God, I want to be faithful to follow you, walk in step with the Spirit and trust you more than my own abilities or “good ideas.” God, I don’t want to walk in fear. I want to walk with radical obedience, in Jesus name, amen.